I started out cooking this with the intention of beating the 30 minute cooking time challenge. Like everyone else, I have been watching the fabulous Jamie cook well thought-out and yummy looking meals in his stylish, very well-equipped kitchen and wondering how he gets to his well set table to feed a family in only half an hour. I rose to the challenge, but unsuprisingly didn’t conquer it.
Last thursday me and my boyfriend made the Summer Veg Lasagne and the tuscan tomato salad together, so that’s minus one course, 4 hands rather than Jamie’s two, pre-prepared equipment as per the instructions and a 47 minute cooking time. We didn’t take to this lightly either, we literally didn’t speak to each other for the whole time as we were both in a state of intense concentration. The only words muttered were when I lost the asparagus and nearly lost it and when Mike started talking to himself to get through the intense layering period!
Despite this though, we learnt a lot of new cooking techniques and made a delicious meal in under an hour that could have fed 8 people (the recipe is for 6, but definitely could have stretched). The lasagne was fresh and light, the mint and lemon really complimenting each other, hinting at summer dining, cut through by the creamy cottage cheese which made it comforting enough for winter eating. I substituted half the asparagus for courgette to keep the costs down and thought cooking it on the hob as you put the layers together was genius. The salad worked perfectly with the lasagne, the crushed gooey tomatoes and peppers satisfying that tomatoey longing I had from the lack of red sauce in the lasagne. The crunchy texture of the salty rosemary flavoured ciabatta added something new to the dish, the fresh basil was sweet and the dressing simple and tangy. I look forward to my next Jamie’s challenge as I thoroughly enjoyed eating this- good luck!
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- A bunch of spring onions
- ½ a 30g tin of anchovies in oil
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 700g asparagus
- 500g frozen peas
- 300g frozen broad beans
- Large bunch of fresh mint
- 300ml single cream
- 1 lemon
- 300ml vegetable stock
- 500g cottage cheese
- 2 packets of fresh lasagne sheets (12 sheets total)
- Parmesan cheese
- Fresh thyme (or a pinch of dried thyme)
- Half fill and boil the kettle.
- Pour the oil from the anchovies into a saucepan and place on a medium heat. Finely slice the spring onions and half of the anchovies and then add them to the saucepan.
- Crush the six cloves of garlic into the pan and fry for a few minutes ensuring that the garlic doesn’t burn.
- Trim the pointed tips off the asparagus and put aside, then trim the woody ends from the other side and discard Finely slice the stems of the asparagus into 1.5cm pieces before adding to the pan with a splash of water from the kettle.
- After five minutes, add the peas and broad beans along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well.
- Pick and chop up the mint leaves then add them to the saucepan along with the cream. Grate in the zest of half a lemon.
- After a few minutes, use a potato masher to mash some of the filling to create texture. Cover with the vegetable stock and bring to the boil before adding 250g of cottage cheese.
- Give everything a good stir and cook for a few more minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Take the vegetables off the heat and spoon around one quarter of the mixture into a 30cm x 35cm deep dish. Top with a lasagne sheet and a generous grating of parmesan cheese.
- Repeat the layers of vegetable and lasagne sheets until you have used all of the filling and then top with a final sheet.
- Mix the remaining 250g of cottage cheese with a splash of boiled water and then spread over the lasagne.
- Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus tips then place onto the lasagne. Sprinkle over the thyme along with another good grating of parmesan and a final drizzle of olive oil.
- Bake in the oven for around 15 minutes until the topping has browned.
Combine and squidge together in your hands 1 loaf of ciabatta that you have ripped into cubes and roasted, a few sprigs of fresh oregano, 1tbsp capers, 1/2 a tin of anchovies, a small bunch of basil, 6 jarred red peppers, 1 clove of crushed garlic, 4 vines of cherry tomatoes, chopped however you fancy, a dash of red wine vinegar to taste, and Parmesan cheese to serve Dress simply with balsamic and olive oil.